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What is the difference between a backpacker tent and a camping tent?

I see that both backpacker tents and camping tents may be available to rent.  What is the difference, generally?  Just looking to sleep 1 person in this case (social distancing and such). Thanks!

3 Replies

@Kathryn11 this is a great question, and if we boil it down to one main difference, typically a backpacking tent should weigh less (and pack down smaller) than a camping tent, as backpacking tents are intended to be carried across distances in a pack vs. simply getting unpacked and set up at a campsite. With that said, there are lots of differences between brands, makes and models of both backpacking and camping tents so this rule of thumb may not always apply...we hope this helps; let us know if we can answer any additional questions!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

If you are backpacking get a backpacking tent since weight and size matter in that context.  Generally you want the lightest and smallest that is practical for you but there are tradeoffs to make in that context.  In my view,  today,  a 1P backpacking tent should not weigh more than ~3lb total but your budget may indicate something heavier.

Any tent will work for car camping but camping tents are generally more robust and roomy so more comfortable for staying in one place for a few days.  Weight and size are less important because they are typically transported close to the  campsite in a vehicle.

The differences are, 1-2 people capacity.   Weight, usually under 5 pounds. Shape varies from six sided dome to triangular tube.  I hope that helps.